Monday, January 03, 2005

VIDEO: Aishwarya Rai on CBS 60 Minutes

13 mts 21 secs

Click on the image above, and then click on play button once it becomes available.

Here's Aishwarya Rai's much talked about 60 Minutes segment broadcast on Jan 01. I've heard (and read) many people ranting about her nervous and "retarded" giggling and some "moronic" answers. While it certainly does seem that the lady was nervous for a part of the actual interview, what struck me the most was how astute this dame is.

In case that made no sense to you, bear with me for a moment. Yes, it was weird the way she answered some of the questions in that one would think that most TV-shows pass an advance copy of the questionnaire/ interview-protocol to the interviewee. Even if they hadn't, the questions were quite normal, and any sensible manager would have anticipated them and prepared the star well in advance of the interview. So the unpreparedness, and the long pauses followed by sometimes unintelligible answers were something of a put-off.

That said, Ms. Rai struck me as a very astute businesswoman. In fielding and evading Bob Simon's questions, on one hand she is careful not to alienate the traditional Hindi-movie audience, while on the other hand she does not close the doors in Hollywood. In fact, I am pretty sure that a large part of America will be enchanted by the "wholesome, traditional and religious" image, and I can easily imagine her being on more American TV shows like Oprah's, even without her agent working overtime.

This interview certainly wasn't a heart-to-heart; it was instead an exercise in maintaining a carefully-cultivated image. In some ways it reminded me of the Shahrukh Khan interviews of yore, even though Shahrukh was much smoother, and much better prepared every single time. She is playing to the crowd, giving the people what they want to hear.

All in all, I have just this to say:
This is just the beginning for this lass; I expect her to star in at least a few A-grade Hollywood movies, with on-screen kissing or without. For the record, I'm not a fan. Except, maybe, of her business accumen now.

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